The girls’ high school soccer season begins Aug. 24, and many of the state’s top programs are wasting no space in their schedules, giving themselves an early tuneup with a bevy of competitive games scheduled that day.
Centennial, the defending Class 2A champion, went unbeaten last season and will aim to keep that streak alive on the road against White Bear Lake, a team the Cougars edged 2-1 in their season opener last fall. East Ridge earned the No. 1 seed in the Class 2A state tournament a season ago and will face Eagan, a perennial powerhouse that won the 2014 and 2015 big-school titles.
Orono won the 2014 Class 1A crown and took runner up in 2015 and will visit Mankato West fresh off the Scarlets' second place finish a year ago. Add in a Class 2A, Section 6 matchup between Minneapolis Washburn and Cretin-Derham Hall that’ll establish the grounds for section seeding later in the season.
And that’s just Day 1.
A rematch of the Class 1A, Section 7 championship between North Branch and Princeton is slated for Sept. 19 when both teams will clash in their Mississippi 8 Conference meeting. The Vikings upended the Tigers 2-1 in the finals after Princeton, ranked sixth in the final regular season coaches’ poll, ousted North Branch 9-0 in their regular season meeting.
Defending Class 1A champion, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, will face crosstown rival St. Louis Park in its season finale on Oct. 5. The Orioles dealt the Red Knights their final loss of the season last year before Benilde-St. Margaret’s won seven straight games through the postseason to claim its second championship in as many years.
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